Review: ‘LX2048’ is a snapshot into a disturbing possible future.

In the near future, the sun has become so toxic people can no longer leave their houses in daytime, and normal life is conducted mostly inside the virtual realm. Against this dystopian backdrop, a dying man seeks to ensure the future well-being of his family, while coping with what it means to be human in this new reality.

The opening credits give you a tiny preview of what kind of visual delight you’re in for. Writer/director Guy Moshe has crafted a frightening and dark film. All the more impactful in 2020, when everything we do has now become virtual, LX 2048 is terrifying because in theory, 28 years from now this feels completely plausible. Residents of this new world are ordered to take government-sanctioned antidepressants because the sun is no longer safe to step into. Once you die, you can upgrade to a clone that will seamlessly take your place. That might sound like a dream to some but when does the human experience end and technology take over completely? Is there where humanity goes to die? With the new countdown clock in Union Square now counting down to irreplaceable climate damage, is this film an omen?

The sets make you feel like these people are living in Ray Bradbury‘s play The Veldt. Backlit, padded rooms, where the human is visually connected to a virtual pair of glasses creating their reality. It’s fascinating but emotionally disconnected, which is entirely the point. Besides the look, the engrossing exploration of the meaning of life through technology advancement. LX 2048 could easily be an entire series. There is a lot that gets packed into roughly an hour and 45 minutes.

James D’Arcy‘s performance is riveting.  As Adam, he must grapple with the notion that his children are part of this system, that his marriage has deteriorated past saving, and that a “better version on himself” could show up to replace him at any moment. We must sift through his depression, mania, hope, hysteria. It is a roller coaster of emotions for the audience. Many scenes require D’Arcy to speak to people at length that are not actually present. A lot of virtual meetings and calls.  It’s like watching a masterclass in acting. Wait for the Shakespeare to drop. You’ve only just begun to see the full scope of his talents.

LX 2048 challenges your idea of ethics all while entertaining the hell out of you. Dive headfirst into this not so farfetched idea of what could be coming our way… Whether we like it or not. LX 2048 comes out today in Virtual Cinemas and North American VOD.

James D’Arcy (Dunkirk, “Broadchurch”, Marvel’s “Agent Carter”) headlines the cast as a man who has resisted humanity’s exodus to virtual reality.  With his death fast approaching and a clone ready to step in as husband and father, Adam struggles to find a way out of his situation, to protect his wife (Anna Brewster, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, “Versailles”) and children.  The cast is rounded out by frequent Spike Lee collaborator and Tony Award nominee Delroy Lindo (Malcolm X, Da 5 Bloods, “The Good Fight”) and BAFTA winner Gina McKee (“Our Friends in the North”, “The Borgias”, Phantom Thread).

LX 2048 will be available to rent or own September 25th on Amazon, iTunes, Comcast, Spectrum, Dish, DirecTV, Vudu and more in the US and Canada.

Fantasia 2020 review: ‘Minor Premise’ is a major feat.

Attempting to surpass his father’s legacy, a reclusive neuroscientist becomes entangled in his own experiment, pitting ten fragments of his consciousness against each other.

What if you could improve yourself? What if you could erase bad memories and make yourself smarter? Would you risk your very sanity? Minor Premise is a complex and intelligent film filled with surprise after surprise. Ethan Kochar’s experiment is an attempt to heal. His attempts to outdo his father’s legacy could cost him everything. His willingness to risk any remaining relationships he holds dear is boundless. Becoming the subject of his own experiment tunes him into the darkest parts of his subconscious. Director Eric Schultz has crafted an intricately edited thinkpiece that will twist your mind. Just before the 34-minute mark, Minor Premise both explains its plot and has one of the most clever single shots of the entire Fantasia 2020 Film Festival. Intentional or not, it feels like a nod to Peter Pan and time.

The storyboarding for Minor Premise must have been a major feat. Trying to keep the audience engaged during a myriad of jumps and emotional states feels like an impossibility, but Eric Schultz, and fellow writers Thomas Torrey, and Justin Moretto manage to use the chaos to drive the plot forward. It is where the film thrives. And yes, while it is about science, deep down it’s about embracing emotional truth. Minor Premise hinges entirely on Sathya Sridharan‘s interpretation of the science-based script. It is, at times, manic. Other times measured. Even hitting an even-keeled determination we are desperate for him to be for us. He represents the viewer. The desire to understand, the want for success, and the need to get to whatever conclusion is imminent. His scene to scene, moment to moment emotional highs and lows are altogether captivating. Minor Premise takes you on a ride in which you will check your own morals along the way.

Find out more about Minor Premise and Fantasia 2020

Fantasia 2020 review: Short film’ You Wouldn’t Understand’ is aptly named.

YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND

An idyllic picnic of one is upended after the arrival of a stranger.

9 minutes of sci-fi absurdity is what I Iive for during Fantasia International Film Festival. You Wouldn’t Understand no matter how hard you try. Impeccably shot and hilariously acted, the only thing wrong with it is that it ends! And that is entirely the point. This is one of the best treatments for an entire series I’ve ever seen, even if that was never the intention. I would watch the hundreds of other iterations of the same story with absolute giddiness. I knew it owned me when I exclaimed, “What the hell?” halfway through. I was as completely weirded out as I was confused… but also had a stupid grin on my face that wasn’t going anywhere even after the credits rolled. Then I watched it again. I cannot stop talking about this film which is also ironic seeing as how I don’t want to give too much away to an audience. Because YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND.

The film is a true collaboration. Director Trish Harnetiaux, also co-wrote the script with actor Jacob A. Ware, while co-star Anthony Arkin edited the short. No surprise the three formed the production company Steel Drum In Space. Which is a hilarious moniker of its own… for obvious scientific reasons. If Monty Python gets your goat, if great writing is your jam, if superb cinematography gets your engine revved, then You Wouldn’t Understand will make complete sense as a viewing experience.

WORLD PREMIERES AT
FantasiaYellow_Transparent.png

YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND

Color
English Language
9 minutes
Not Rated

For more information on the film and to find out about Fantasia 2020 click HERE

Review: ‘Sputnik’ is stomach churning, sci-fi glory.

SPUTNIK

Due to her controversial methods, young doctor Tatiana Yurievna (Oksana Akinshina, Lilya 4-Ever) is on the precipice of losing her medical license. Her career may not be over, though. After she’s recruited by the military, Tatiana is brought to a secure science research facility to assess a very special case, that of Konstantin Sergeyevich (Pyotr Fyodorov, The Darkest Hour), a cosmonaut who survived a mysterious space accident and has returned to Earth with a unique condition: there’s something living inside of him that only shows itself late at night. The military has nefarious plans for it. Tatiana wants to stop it from killing Konstantin. And the creature itself thrives on destruction.

This intensely dark and visually frightening sci-fi film will get under your skin and stay there. The lighting choices alone, the perpetually dark and ominous choices will throw you into a state of disorientation from the very beginning. Practical effects, mixed with stunning CGI and creature design make for an enthralling watch. Performances are so strong you will be audibly rooting for our leads. As the tension builds, so does your heart rate. Oksana Akinshina as Tatiana Yurievna is a force to be reckoned with. Her measured tenacity, boldness, and bravery jump off the screen. As the sole female, her energy is what drives this film to success. Pyotr Fyodorov as Konstantin is an entirely different animal (no pun intended). His physical and emotional arch are the perfect foil for Akinshina. The emotional energy displayed onscreen will drain you as much as it must have Fyodorov Even with a runtime of nearly 2 hrs, Sputnik keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering how it will end. So, pop some popcorn, turn down the lights, and get ready for a spine chilling tale from a secret Russian location. Sputnik will make you look differently at the stars.

Release Details: SPUTNIK opens today, Friday, August 14th, in select theaters, digital platforms, and cable VOD, courtesy of IFC Midnight.  https://www.sputnik.movie/

Director: Egor Abramenko (THE PASSENGER)
Writers: Oleg Malovichko, Andrei Zolotarev
Cast: Oksana Akinshina (LILYA 4-EVER), Pyotr Fyodorov (THE DARKEST HOUR), Fedor Bondarchuk (9TH COMPANY)
Runtime: 107 Minutes
Distributor: IFC Midnight

Review: ‘Volition’ begs the question of fate.

VOLITION is a time-bending cerebral science-fiction thriller where a man afflicted with clairvoyance tries to change his fate when a series of events leads to a vision of his own imminent murder.

The storyboarding that had to occur for this to succeed must have been painstakingly detailed. Think Looper meets 12 Monkeys. Do not blink while watching this film. The writing is on the wall (literally in some cases.) Volition is an incredibly high octane, sci-fi thriller. It challenges fate and consequences. It’s a never-ending stream of entertaining moments that build and build. The editors deserve a major high five.

Clearly written with some serious precision, Tony Dean Smith, who also directs, and Ryan W. Smith has given us a time-warped mindbender. Our leading man, Adrian Glynn McMorran is phenomenal. Beat to beat he nails the emotional uphill battle this script becomes. Speaking of which, the pacing is really a feat. The complexity will keep you glued to your seat. Volition is aptly named not only for its plot but for everyone involved in making the film as successful as it is. Check out the trailer below for a sneak peek!

You can be seen on Apple TV, Prime Video, and other digital platforms this Friday, July 10th.

 VOLITION is the feature directorial debut for Tony Dean Smith (Rakka), who co-wrote the script with his brother and producing partner Ryan W. Smith (Next Gen).  The film stars Adrian Glynn McMorran (The Revenant), Magda Apanowicz (You), John Cassini (The Possession), Frank Cassini (Watchmen), Aleks Paunovic (War for the Planet of the Apes), and Bill Marchant (Godzilla).  It was produced in association with Paly Productions and Smith Brothers Film Company.

 

Review: ‘Archive’ will make you question life and death decisions.

SYNOPSIS:2038: George Almore is working on a true human-equivalent AI. His latest prototype is almost ready. This sensitive phase is also the riskiest. Especially as he has a goal that must be hidden at all costs:being reunited with his dead wife.

Archive is a visual dream for fans of A.I. related storytelling. The production design team has taken pages from sci-fi films of old while also giving the audience a completely original aesthetic. It’s almost the birth of Westworld’s technology. You cannot miss the nods to Space Odessey, Alien, and Blade Runner.

Performances are incredibly grounded. The physical isolation mixed with grief makes for a somber and ominous setup. The nuanced relationships are brilliant to watch as they evolve. You will find yourself empathizing with all the A.I. entities. Theo James gives us every beat in total honesty. Stacy Martin is a superstar in 3 very different roles. Quite impressive.

There is a lot of intrigue in this script. Moral ambiguity is a huge part of the plot. Writer-director Gavin Rothery begs the question, “How far would you be willing to go for love?” There are clues dropped in the dialogue and recalls in scenes providing clever juxtaposition that will challenge the viewer. You cannot look away. Blink and you’ll miss something that might be more important than you realize. Brimming with emotional complexity, Archive challenges what life and death will continue to mean as technology upgrades in the future.

ARCHIVE is releasing on July 10, 2020 on Virtual Cinema Screenings, on Demand and Digital.

Review: ‘Blood Machines’ a cyberpunk fantasy, now available on AMC’s Shudder.

Synopsis:
Two space hunters are tracking down a machine trying to free itself. After taking it down, they witness a mystical phenomenon: the ghost of a young woman pulls itself out of the machine as if the spaceship had a soul. Trying to understand the nature of this entity, they start chasing the woman through space.

Inspired by the spirit of the 80’s films and music, BLOOD MACHINES is a 50-minute, sci-fi horror mind-melter told in three chapters, scored by acclaimed and reclusive French synth-wave artist Carpenter Brut, and expanded from their music video of their track Turbo Killer. Starring Elisa Lasowski, Anders Heinrichsen and Noémie Stevens, written and directed by Seth Ickerman.

 

Chapter One:
Mima

This episode is so visually spectacular from the get-go, I exclaimed, “Whaaaaatttt” as soon as I spotted the first spacecraft. The sets are something akin to Star Wars, a video game, and a graphic novel. Great costumes and props add to this lived-in world. It has a solid 80’s vibe and yet it’s still completely timeless. If you don’t want to keep watching as the screen goes black, I will be flabbergasted.

Chapter Two:
Corey

This episode picks up exactly where Mima left off. The attention to detail in the cinematography is hypnotizing. The color choices are rad as hell. But it’s the plot that sneaks up on you in earnest here. The definition of a soul is prominently questioned, as is the psychosexual dynamic between the characters.

Chapter Three:
Tracy

This episode plays upon the many dimensions of the female psyche. The power of sensuality, protective nature, and empathy, and exploration. The visual juxtaposition between scenes is glorious. Wait until you see the climactic choreography. It will blow your mind.

Blood Machines is something entirely unique. While it is meant to invoke a conversation about “man” meeting machine and all the complexities that come with that ever-expanding A.I. issue, out of context it’s a very feminist film. As a woman viewing this magical creation, it made me feel vindicated and more kickass than usual.  It will rock you and entertain to no end. Writer-director Seth Ickerman has given the audience an intelligent and thoughtful piece of sci-fi. Carpenter Brut’s score is intoxicating. I would play that on a loop if given the chance. Genre fans will beg for more. I’m asking, nay imploring, that this story get expanded (AGAIN) in any form. It’s brilliant.

About SETH ICKERMAN:
Raphaël Hernandez and Savitri Joly-Gonfard are two French directors, working for 10 years under the pseudonym of Seth Ickerman. Known for their production design and art direction skillset, Raphaël and Savitri collaborated on various commercials for companies such as LG, Ubisoft, and Samsung. In 2016, they directed the hit music video Turbo Killer in 2016 for Carpenter Brut. 
About CARPENTER BRUT:
Carpenter Brut draws its influences from 80s TV shows and B-movies loaded with synthesizers. The mysterious and discreet man behind the pentagon – or the Brutagram as his fans would call it – evokes an encounter between Justice beats and the universe of John Carpenter. Listening to his home-made EPs, however, one would rather bet on a metalhead background, a crush for Dario Argento, and a force-fed religious education. This would explain his penchant for the occult, his passion for kitsch sounds, and his adoration for all kinds of enjoyment.
Carpenter Brut pays tribute to the post-hippie/pre-AIDS culture that then set the basis of electro and metal to give us a unique, violent, and crazy 80s revival sound.

 

Review: Indie Sci-Fi Comedy ‘The Wave’ starring Justin Long and Donald Faison, directed by Gille Klabin is one insanely weird trip.

Justin Long (Die Hard 4.0, Accepted) and Donald Faison (Scrubs, Clueless) lead the unique modern-day parable that follows Frank (Long), an opportunistic insurance lawyer, who thinks he’s in for the time of his life when he goes out on the town to celebrate an upcoming promotion with his co-worker, Jeff (Faison). But their night takes a turn for the bizarre when Frank is dosed with a hallucinogen that completely alters his perception of the world, taking him on a psychedelic quest through board meetings, nightclubs, shootouts, and alternate dimensions. As Frank ping-pongs between reality and fantasy, he finds himself on a mission to find a missing girl, himself… and his wallet.

Visually intoxicating, The Wave hits you like a ton of bricks. Justin Long plays Frank, an insurance lawyer, underappreciated at work and at home and stuck in the loop of the mundane, decides to go out on the town for once. When the shit hits the fan, we’re all on drugs with Long. The highs and lows, the mysterious chase, the lost time. It’s all insane and wonderful.

Sheila Vand, star of my one my all-time favorite film’s A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, plays Theresa with a cool ease that the perfect foil for Long’s quick-witted corporate cynicism. Her energy is electric. Donald Faison as Frank’s best friend is was a smart choice from a sidekick standpoint. Their chemistry is awesome. He stands as a representation of the viewing audience in the sense that we’re just as confused (in the best way possible) as he is. This script is jarring and electric. Justin Long, once again, owns whatever role he takes on. I buy every second he is on screen. I don’t know if any other actor would have resonated as truthfully. Long’s ability to live moment to moment in each character is nothing short of genuine and delicious talent. Time jumping, drug-induced, comment on karma, The Wave is simply cool.

IN THEATERS AND ON VOD JANUARY 17TH

Review: ‘PORTALS’ is basically a genre-bending mindf*ck.

On August 5th 2020, an undisclosed research facility successfully creates the world’s first active black hole…Shortly after a cosmic disruption occurs triggering a series of world-wide blackouts; after which millions of mysterious, reality-altering, Portal-like anomalies appear everywhere and anywhere across the planet. While many flee from the sentient objects, the real terror sets in as people are drawn toward and into them.

 

Portals is a genre-bending anthology featuring three internationally connected stories told from four visionary filmmakers’ perspectives as the cosmic events unfold within the first few days. The action quickly kicks off with our wrap-around story following Adam and his family on their way to his mother-in-law’s house during the blackouts and reports of missing persons..during the road trip their SUV barrels directly into an Anomaly that suddenly appears in the middle of a desolate road. He later wakes up in a mysterious hospital suffering from optic nerve damage and is given an experimental eye transplant that links itself directly to the anomalies. With a determination to be reunited with his family; Adam soon discovers the hospital has cosmic secrets of its own.

Incredibly effective CG mixed with a mass hysteria mystery makes Portals beyond entertaining. The film’s pace makes you uneasy immediately. It’s quite impressive. The play on parental emotions and survival instinct keeps you on the edge. I NEEDED to know how this was all going to play out. The cast is magnificent. The multiple narrative styles fit perfectly into this genre-bending film. While the third selection between two sisters feels a bit too long, it shifts the genre dynamic. To what? I’m not quite sure, but it still has me invested because it is moving the plot forward. The physical portals themselves look like massive, high tech flat-screen televisions. The digital effects they utilize on the screens are cool and you learn very quickly somehow connected to the story. As the plot twists and turns, Portals has an almost dizzying effect. It would be a phenomenal miniseries. It’s a lot of information to explore in a single film. I try to go into a film without reading much about it first. Once I realized that this was actually an anthology, I was all the more impressed. The quality of writing flows through each separate selection as does production for continuity, obviously. But I was blown away by the risks these writers and directors took to feature different perspectives in the same way individuals having “the same experience” internationally. When all is said and done, Portals begs for a sequel. If not, then an entire series. There is a ton of story left to tell and I am here for it all.

In Theaters and On Demand October 25

Directed by Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project, Exists)Gregg Hale (V/H/S 2), Timo Tjahjanto (The Night Comes For Us, Headshot), and Liam O’Donnell (Beyond Skyline)

Starring Neil Hopkins (“Lost”), Deanna Russo (Burning Love, Knight Rider), Gretchen Lodge (Lovely Molly), Natacha Gott (After the Dark), Phet Mahathongdy (Skyline), Ptolemy Slocum (“Westworld”), and Salvita Decorte (The Night Comes For Us)

Produced by Brad Miska and creator Chris White alongside BoulderLight Pictures’ J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules, and Pigrat Productions’ Alyssa and Griffin Devine

Review: ‘PARADISE HILLS’ is a stunningly beautiful sci-fi with feminist punch.

SYNOPSIS: On an isolated island, Uma (Emma Roberts) wakes up to find herself at Paradise Hills, a facility where high-class families send their daughters to become perfect versions of themselves. The facility is run by the mysterious Duchess (Milla Jovovich) where calibrated treatments including etiquette classes, vocal lessons, beauty treatments, gymnastics and restricted diets, revolve all physical and emotional shortcomings within two months. The outspoken Uma finds solace and friendship in other Paradise Hills residents — Chloe (Danielle McDonald), Yu (Awkwafina) and Mexican popstar Amarna (Eiza Gonzalez). Uma soon realizes that lurking behind all this beauty is a sinister secret. It’s a race against the clock as Uma and her friends try to escape Paradise Hills before it consumes them all.

Vibrant costumes and sets envelop the audience immediately. The island on which these young women are being housed would seem like a dream if they weren’t being held against their wills and reprogrammed. Paradise Hills has a cast that is mind-blowing. Emma Roberts, Awkwafina, Danielle Macdonald, Eiza González, Milla Jovovich headline this twisted tale of turning societal “bad girls” into Stepford wives to the nth degree. Their surroundings look good enough to eat, Versailles in actual cake form. It has a solid feminist message of finding your own voice. The cool sci-fi script is a great story for fans of Suzanne Collins and Hunger Games nostalgia. This will also resonate with Handmaid’s Tale lovers. We need more young females challenging the patriarchal structure set against creative backdrops. While the third act explanation of Jovovich’s character feels like a completely different story to tell, the rest is very solid. The performances are all impressive. Paradise Hills is as beautiful to watch as it is intriguing.

**World Premiere – Sundance Film Festival 2019**

**Official Selection – Fantasia Film Festival 2019**

**Official Selection – Sitges Film Festival 2019**

Samuel Goldwyn Films will release the fantasy/sci-fi/thriller PARADISE HILLS in theaters October 25, 2019 and on digital and on-demand November 1, 2019.

PARADISE HILLS is Spanish fashion creative and photographer Alice Waddington’s feature debut. The film features an ensemble cast including Emma Roberts (“American Horror Story,” “Scream Queens”), Danielle Macdonald (DumplinPatti Cake$), Awkwafina (The Farewell, Crazy Rich Asians), Jeremy Irvine (Billionaire Boys Club, War Horse), Arnaud Valois (BPM (Beats Per Minute), The Girl on the Train), Eiza Gonzalez (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Baby Driver) and Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil seriesThe Fifth Element). The film was co-written by Nacho Vigalondo (Colossal, V/H/S Viral) and Brian DeLeeuw (Daniel Isn’t Real, Some Kind of Hate.)

Fantasia International Film Festival 2019 review: ‘The Incredible Shrinking Wknd’ is insightful genre bender.

THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WKND

Alba is losing time. A mysterious place in the woods has caused her days to take a true Groundhog Day turn but with an added twist. Each repetitive day during an overnight trip with her friends is one less hour than the day before. The only consistent thing is the clothing she ends her day with is the clothing she restarts in… and any bodily damage such as injuries or hangovers. Alba must decide how she’ll handle each repetition. How will she change her fate and those of her fellow cabin mates before the final hour runs out? This film doesn’t immediately reveal its deeper meaning. It takes it time and in a smart fashion. It’s much more introspective than at first glance. Abla takes risks to challenge her surroundings and presumptions about her predicament. All while finding buried childhood treasures around the property. Oh, that’s the only other thing that carries through. The film is not only a scavenger hunt for her past but her present as well. Iria del Río as Alba is amazing. She is raw and untethered. The Incredible Shrinking Wknd keeps the audience on its toes with its ” what would you do” scenario. It challenges the viewer to think about how selfish we are and how little we actually care for the people in our circle. The writing is truly engrossing and the performances are all extraordinarily solid. The very specific visual framing is a trick that I didn’t even catch until about midway through the film. Brilliance. Huge congrats to writer-director Jon Mikel Caballero. Fantasia International Film Festival is a delightful venue for this feature that is a relationship film wrapped in science fiction.

Review: ‘Occupation’ has a full sci-fi miniseries feel in 2hrs

A ragtag group of folks from a small town band together when the unexpected is thrust upon them. Think The Walking Dead (RV and all), but with aliens.. and sped up in time. The intersection of different personalities makes for an intriguing story of survival. There is a beautiful first visual, and perhaps an homage to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as we are introduced to the threat. But that does not last long. In a matter of seconds, mass explosions and hysteria as a heavily armed alien army approaches the local rugby game and obliterates the scene. It’s pretty exhilarating immediately. You are invested in these folks. The alien armor is designed in a RoboCop meets Cybermen (Doctor Who) fashion. While I wasn’t a huge fan of their appearance underneath, I’ll forgive it for all the other positive aspects. Our group takes aim at not only survival but fighting back, and making a new life for others. The film pushes forward in time quickly covering a ton of story ground. The performances are great. The FX are pretty stunning. This could have easily been an entire series. Occupation is truly action-packed and phenomenally engrossing. It goes far beyond the normal invasion movie. At its core, Occupation is about humanity.

Saban Films will release the upcoming sci-fi film OCCUPATION in theaters and on VOD and Digital HD on July 20, 2018.
The film was written and directed by Luke Sparke (Red Billabong)and starsDan Ewing (“Home and Away,” “Power Rangers R.P.M.”), Temuera Morrison (AquamanGreen Lantern), Stephany Jacobsen (Alex Cross, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”), Rhiannon Fish (“The 100,” “Home and Away”), Zachary Garred (“General Hospital,” Marriage of Lies), Izzy Stevens (“Puberty Blues,” “Underbelly”), Charles Terrier (“Interface,” King of Ashes), Charles Mesure (“Once Upon a Time,” “The Magicians”), Trystan Go (“Small Town Hackers,” “The Family Law”), Felix Williamson (Peter RabbitThe Great Gatsby), Jacqueline McKenzie (The Water Diviner, “The 4400”), Aaron Jeffery (Turbo KidX-Men Origins: Wolverine), and Bruce Spence (WinchesterPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales).

Review: ‘A Wish For Giants’ Warms Your Heart

A Wish For Giants

Release Date: February 17, 2018

Run Time: 1 hour 18 minutes

Reviewed By: Reel Reviews Over Brews

Sophie (Naysa Altmeyer) meets a kindred spirit in Roxie (Alexa Mechling), a young girl with an inoperable brain tumor and the impossible wish to meet Bigfoot. As if the task at hand isn’t hard enough, Sophie must contend with meddling from Derrick (Connor McClain), a fame-hungry classmate born into privilege from her graduate classes. As time grows short and pressures mount, Sophie must align herself with Derrick in order to see Roxie’s wish granted, even if not in the way she may have hoped for. Unknown to everyone is the possibility that there may be magic in the wish of a dying girl, and a truth beyond belief.

Going into A Wish For Giants, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The only other movie with Bigfoot I’ve seen is Harry and the Hendersons. When I was little, Harry used to give me nightmares… who knows why, but this would be my first Bigfoot movie since. So I began this adventure only knowing two things. One was, it was a Bigfoot movie, but not a typical Bigfoot movie. The other was, it won Best Dramatic Feature at a film festival and it is consideration for awards at several other festivals. I can certainly see why it won one award and is in consideration for more. A Wish For Giants was wonderful. It truly warms your heart. You can tell it’s a low budget film (i.e., sound and video quality), but that doesn’t change how great the story line is. I would love to see what a major Hollywood producing company could do with it. Reminded me of a movie you would find on Hallmark or Lifetime. It just had that feel. I think you’ll know what I mean. If you happen upon A Wish For Giants, it’s definitely worth the watch! It’ll leave you with a smile on your face. Now maybe I’ll give Harry and the Hendersons another shot… maybe.

Reel ROB Rating: 6.5 out of 10 stars

Post Credits Scene: No

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review!

Review: ‘The God Inside My Ear’ – One Trippy Ride

The God Inside My Ear

Release Date: August 2017

Run Time: 1 hour 38 minutes

Reviewed By: Reel Reviews Over Brews

After experiencing a peculiar and sudden breakup with her boyfriend, Elizia discovers a world of conspiracies, strange voices and horrifying visions.

Holy ayahuasca trip, Batman! This is one trippy movie. Go into it with an open mind and you won’t be disappointed. This is certainly one of the better low budget films I’ve seen in a while. I believe the entire movie was completed in 13 days with only $8,000. Damn, that is impressive work! Linnea Gregg as Elizia did a wonderful job. Very impressed with her work. Although hard to follow at times, it had me going back and forth in my own head trying to figure out how it would end. It was certainly a bit of a jaw dropper, which is my favorite kind of movie so that helped make my decision on the higher rating easy. Can’t wait to see what Joe Badon produces next!

Reel ROB Rating: 5.75 out of 10 stars

Post Credits Scene: No

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review!

Review: ‘Battalion’ – Save Your Time & Money

Battalion

Release Date: January 9, 2018

Run Time: 1 hour 34 minutes

Reviewed By: Reel Reviews Over Brews

After a war against an enemy from another world breaks out in the South Pacific, a group of freshly recruited U.S. Marines are sent to the front lines.

Save your money and wait until Battalion ends up on the SYFY channel at 3AM one week night and even then, save your time. The acting, the graphics, the sound, and the story line were all terrible. The story line was hard to follow. It had potential, in the beginning, but didn’t follow through. I sure wish I could get that hour and a half back… if I could, I’d spend it on another Infinity War session! Actually, you’re even wasting your time reading this. I wish I could find one minute aspect that was worth talking about, but unfortunately there isn’t. Maybe they were going for the Sharknado plan, where it was so bad that it turns out to be good… well, they missed there too. Battalion reminded me a bit of Starship Troopers, but much, much worse. Like a high school AV class version. Hopefully you’ll take my advise and skip this one and let’s keep our fingers crossed they don’t try to make a sequel.

Reel ROB Rating: 1.5 out of 10 stars

Post Credits Scene: No

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review!

Review: ‘ The Endless’ is an unsettling trip.

THE ENDLESS

Directed by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

Written by Justin Benson

Starrs Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Callie Hernandez, Emily Montague, Lew Temple, Tate Ellington, James Jordan

Synopsis: Following their Lovecraftian modern cult classic SPRING, acclaimed filmmakers Moorhead and Benson return with this mind-bending thriller that follows two brothers who receive a cryptic video message inspiring them to revisit the UFO death cult they escaped a decade earlier. Hoping to find the closure that they couldn’t as young men, they’re forced to reconsider the cult’s beliefs when confronted with unexplainable phenomena surrounding the camp. As the members prepare for the coming of a mysterious event, the brothers race to unravel the seemingly impossible truth before their lives become permanently entangled with the cult.

The Endless is a truly mindbending cinematic experience. The story alone is strange enough but when combined with breathtaking cinematography and some serious FX, you’ve got one of the coolest films so far this year. It addresses the question of cult mentality and what we consider to be familial relationships. The Endless begs for multiple viewings and not just because you think you might be able to figure out exactly what’s happening, though that’s definitely a reason. You’ll come back for cool visuals, solid performances from the entire cast, and really snappy dialogue. There is so much going on in this film that your brain may not be able to keep up with all the awesome being thrown its way. More than once, I literally said aloud, “How’d the hell did they do that?!” Benson and Moorhead have undoubtedly given us a cult classic. To think this was all done on a limited indie budget is downright mind-blowing. The Endless will surprise you and keep you on your toes until the very final frame.
Check out the trailer below:

Opening in New York April 6th and Los Angeles April 13th with a national rollout to follow

TRT: 112 minutes

Country: USA

Language: English

Directors: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead

Writer: Justin Benson

Cast: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Callie Hernandez, Emily Montague, Lew Temple, Tate Ellington, James Jordan

 

Review: ‘KILL ORDER’ feels unfinished in a good way.

In KILL ORDER, chaos erupts when a group of armed men break into a high school classroom. They target David, a quiet kid who secretly suffers from unexplained memories of a horrifying past. Tapping into a previously unknown strength, David fights off his attackers and goes on the run. With his life and the lives of his loved ones in jeopardy, David must master the use of his new superhuman strength and fighting skills to find the people responsible and get his revenge.

The Mark brothers have given us an incredibly fun and action-packed martial arts indie. Writer/director James Mark brings his stuntman background to the big screen with a film filled with intrigue and some seriously intense fight sequences. The CG actually adds to the Resident Evil video game feel of the flashbacks. Younger Mark brother, Chris, in the role of David is able to utilize his own stuntman skills to his character’s advantage. The fight choreo is high impact and just downright cool to watch. Mark’s moment to moment emotional ride is also pretty impressive. It’s a really great initial jump into the world of leading man. The superb editing builds upon the script’s mystery. And while the ending leaves much to be answered, the film feels like the first in a series of graphic novel inspired stories. There is a ton of potential for Kill Order to become a franchise.

You can check out the trailer below and catch the film today!

RLJ Entertainment, Inc. is set to release the action/sci-fi film KILL ORDER on VOD, Digital HD and on DVD on Feb. 6, 2018.  Written and directed by James Mark (Jumper), KILL ORDER stars Chris Mark (Suicide Squad), Daniel Park (Pacific Rim), Denis Akiyama (Pixels), Melee Hutton (Beautiful People), Jessica Clement (“Pure”), Jason Gosbee (Suicide Squad), Reuben Langdon (Ant-Man) and Alain Moussi (Kickboxer: Vengeance).

ABOUT RLJE FILMS

An RLJ Entertainment, Inc. brand (NASDAQ: RLJE), RLJE Films features include Once Upon a Time in Venice starring Bruce Willis, Bushwick with Dave Bautista and Brittany Snow, Pilgrimage with Tom Holland, Jon Bernthal and Richard Armitage, and Brawl in Cell Block 99 from writer/director S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk) and starring Vince Vaughn, Don Johnson and Jennifer Carpenter. These titles are distributed in multiple formats including theatrical, VOD, DVD, Blu-Ray, and digital download. www.us.rljentertainment.com.

Review: ‘The Gracefield Incident’ has familiar feel but is still cleverly fresh.

SYNOPSIS: Matthew Donovan, a video game editor, embeds an iPhone camera into his prosthetic eye to secretly record and document a weekend with friends in a luxurious mountain top cabin. The weekend takes a terrifying turn when a meteorite crashes the party forcing everyone to face the darkest, screaming nightmare while somehow connecting life, love, and loss in a twist of fear.

The Gracefield Incident takes pages from some of the most iconic sci-fi and horror films of the last 15 years. If you take Paranormal Activity, Signs, and Cloverfield you’ll have the basic outline for major elements in Mathieu Ratthe’s feature film. Yet, the film has its own uniqueness. The adoption of a camera in our main character’s eye is creative, the use of another character’s professional camera, AND security footage at the main location, allows the story to be experienced from multiple angles in a smart way. My only gripe with the plot has to do with balloons. Balloons don’t float with your breath alone, that’s not how that works. Otherwise, the practical effects are pretty impressive and the endgame is worth the wait. The Gracefield Incident is interesting enough on its own when it comes to the heart of the story. You can check out the trailer below.

THE GRACEFIELD INCIDENT IN SELECT THEATERS AND ON DEMAND / DIGITAL HD:  July 21, 2017

DIRECTOR AND WRITER: Mathieu Ratthe
CAST: Mathieu Ratthe, Kimberly Laferriere, Victor Andres Turgeon-Trelles, Juliette Gosselin, Alexandre Nachi, Laurence Dauphinais
GENRE: Horror, Thriller
DISTRIBUTOR: Momentum Pictures

Review: ‘Agent’… Derek Ting Does It All, In This Action Packed Sci-Fi Flick!

Agent

Now Available on Vimeo, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, Xbox, & Playstation

Available on Hulu & Amazon Prime: July 1, 2017

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Agent starts out by looking into the life of Jim Yung (Derek Ting). We find that he is trying to adapt to a normal life after returning from service. Jim’s friends, Angela (Marikah Cunningham) and Seth (Eric Keitel) decide they are going to visit Jim and try getting him out of his funk. They bring along Kara (Olivia Hultgren) in hopes to spark a fling. When Seth and Angela arrive, they decide that they are going out into the desert to shoot some high powered guns. The group meets up with a former secret service agent, John (Terrance Christopher Jones), who is their shooting instructor. Upon their day of shooting, the group of friends accidentally awakens something so powerful that they must choose between saving each other or saving the world.

So, we came across the movie Agent in a sort of funny way. We noticed that the movie’s Instagram page (@agentthemovie) was following us. We reached out in hopes to learn more and upon getting to know actor/director/writer, Derek Ting, he sent us a screening. Long story short, here we are!

Now to the review… Agent grabs your attention right away with the characters. They are very real. Jim Yung (Derek Ting) and Angela Porter (Marikah Cunningham) steal the show. It’s hard not to get caught up in their stories. The camera angles were great, although a few minor corrections could have been made, we liked what they did. The setting was a nice fit too. What better spot to feel trapped and deserted than a desert where no one can hear you scream!? Action is what usually holds our attention the best and this film certainly wasn’t lacking. Probably one our our favorite parts about this movie was that it didn’t follow the typical “shoot them in the head to stop them” plot. They had a pretty ingenious spin on that. We can absolutely see Agent being a perfect movie to play on the Syfy channel, but until then, go check it out on any of the viewing platforms we listed above.

PS, in a few days we’ll be following up this review with a Q&A from actor/director/writer, Derek Ting. So keep an eye out!

Reel ROB Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post Credits Scene: Yes

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review for them!

Review: ‘Kill Switch’… The Way We Want Video Game Movies To Be

Kill Switch

Theatrical Release Date: June 16, 2017

Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews

Kill Switch is a video game style movie that takes place in a future world. In this future world an experiment is taking place to produce unlimited energy, which is being taken from parallel universes. The experiment takes a turn for the worse and pilot/physicist, Will Porter (Dan Stevens), is stuck in one of the collapsing parallel universes. Will is a wanted man in this parallel world and is being chased by rebels, drones, and soldiers. His mission is a race against time trying to get the Redivider Box to the energy tower. If he is able to complete this mission he will not only save his family, but all of humanity.

When we first heard the movie Kill Switch was coming out and was video game-esque, we immediately thought that it was going to be based on the video game Kill Switch that came out for Xbox and PlayStation 2 back in 2003, of course, those who only play www.casinodames.com don’t know anything about it, which we were absolutely obsessed with. Well, it wasn’t. The game was third person… the movie was in first person and the stories were completely different. However, this did not play a factor in us liking the movie. We actually really enjoyed Kill Switch the movie! An absolutely awesome and unique way to shoot a film. It literally felt like playing a first person video game, especially with the sick graphics. We love video games, but one thing we’ve heard people say in the past is that the way video games spin and turn so much it makes them feel sick. Well, if you fall into this category then this movie won’t be for you.

Dan Stevens played a great role as Will, even though there were only a few scenes he was actually in (most of the movie was just his voice, as it was shot 90% in first person). It was hard not to get caught up with the story line. Is Will going to make it to the energy tower in time!? Will he survive through all of these beatings he is taking!? It is a very action packed hour and a half. When the movie ended, we were left with one question… What would it be like if they did a reboot of the Doom franchise and shot it like Kill Switch? Maybe it could actually give Doom a leg to stand on because they really did the game an injustice with the original movie attempt. The game was one of our favorites growing up! Used to play it on the computer all of the time. The movie however… woof! This is the way we would love to see video game movies. Could definitely change the bad rep they have been getting. It’s certainly worth a try!

Reel ROB Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

Post Credits Scene: No

We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review for them!